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Joined 2 years ago

Science fiction and fantasy. Astronomical Data Scientist at STScI/MAST in Baltimore. Opinions are my own. Follow me on Mastodon at Longer reviews on my blog:

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2024 Reading Goal

50% complete! Strakul has read 6 of 12 books.

Ernest Cline: Ready Player One (Ready Player One, #1) (Paperback, 2011, Crown Publishers) 4 stars

Ready Player One is a 2011 science fiction novel, and the debut novel of American …

80s nostalgia with a clever concept, but weak narrative

3 stars

Overall this was a fun read. The world itself is quite dystopian, but the OASIS is incredible. It feels like a very natural evolution of today's online society, for better or worse. Some of the plot can feel a little sluggish with the exposition and the slowdown in the second arc of the book, but it has a good payoff at the end. The characters are OK, but not developed as well as the focus is almost solely on the main character Parzival and his obsession with the 80s, the hunt, and Art3mis. I think the concept behind this (and the nostalgia) was pretty good, though the narrative could have been better, both in terms of characters and plot.

For a full review, check out my blog:

reviewed The Price of Spring by Daniel Abraham (Long Price Quartet, #4)

Daniel Abraham: The Price of Spring (2009, Tor) 4 stars

Fifteen years have passed since the devastating war between the Galt Empire and the cities …

A fitting conclusion to this 4-book series

5 stars

The final book of the Long Price Quartet. In hindsight, it makes perfect sense the direction this book took, but at the end of the 3rd one I wasn't sure what could come next. Overall a fitting conclusion to the series.

For a spoiler-free review of the full series, check out my blog:

reviewed An Autumn War by Daniel Abraham (Long Price Quartet, #3)

Daniel Abraham: An Autumn War (Hardcover, 2008, Tor Books) 5 stars

Daniel Abraham delighted fantasy readers with his brilliantly original and engaging first novel, and in …

The culmination of may plot threads, what could the 4th book be about?

5 stars

The 3rd of the 4 books in the Long Price Quartet and my favorite thus far. Lots of complex character interactions going on and the culmination of a lot of plot threads that have been teased in the prior two books. I honestly don't know what the 4th one could be about, if it's not a long epilogue...

reviewed A Betrayal in Winter by Daniel Abraham (Long Price Quartet, #2)

Daniel Abraham delighted fantasy readers with his brilliant, original, and engaging first novel, A Shadow …

Continuing the Quartet with betrayal and intrigue

4 stars

This is the second book in the Long Price Quartet and a worthy successor to the first. I'll be holding out for my complete review until I finish the four books, but this was enjoyable on its own. I was surprised by the large time jump between the first and the second, but pleased that many of the same characters reappear. Some similar themes are explored in this one, primarily the nature of relationships and family, though absent are the themes of humanity and slavery. There is a bit more intrigue and politics in this one, something is shaking up and I wonder what the next two books will focus on.

reviewed A Shadow in Summer by Daniel Abraham (Long Price Quartet, #1)

Daniel Abraham: A Shadow in Summer (2006, Tor) 4 stars

The city-state of Saraykeht dominates the Summer Cities. Its wealth is beyond measure; its port …

A good quick read to start off a new series

4 stars

Read this on my international trip and enjoyed it a lot. I got the other books in the series during my trip, in case I had more time, but haven't started them yet. I also haven't done a full review, but that may come later or I may group the entire series under one review. For now, I found this to be an enjoyable story with a decent plot and some pretty good characters. I look forward to seeing how the world develops.

reviewed Defiant by Brandon Sanderson (Skyward, #4)

Brandon Sanderson: Defiant (Hardcover, 2023, Delacorte Press) 4 stars

Spensa made it out of the Nowhere, but what she saw in the space between …

An epic conclusion to the Skyward series

4 stars

This was a fun book and a great way to end the series. It had an explosive finish and managed to tie up pretty much all the major plotlines going through (though as a young adult novel it was fairly straightforward). The characters were interesting and the plot very fast paced. Overall, an enjoyable science fiction/fantasy series. Apparently there is more to continue in this universe which sounds exciting to me!

For a full review, check out my blog: